Second-Ranked Bruins Host Arizona and Arizona State

Nov. 16, 2011

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Friday, Nov. 18
7 p.m. - Arizona at #2 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video

Sunday, Nov. 20
1 p.m. - Arizona State at #2 UCLA
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video

The second-ranked Bruins (23-4, 16-3 Pac-12) begin a three-match homestand to close out the regular season this weekend against the Arizona schools, hosting Arizona (17-10, 9-9) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Arizona State (8-19, 4-14) on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the John Wooden Center.

Avoid the lines and assure yourself of getting tickets to the remaining women's volleyball home matches. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster, by clicking here. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youths (plus Ticketmaster fees). Students can obtain one free ticket per Bruin Card at the John Wooden Center Box Office prior to the match.

The first 100 people with mustaches will receive free entry into Friday's match against Arizona. In addition, Courtside Bruins boosters will be selling Movember t-shirts in the stands for a minimum donation of $5. The UCLA women's volleyball team has raised nearly $500 for men's health awareness. If you want to donate to the Movember movement and the Courtside Bruins team, click here.

Gametracker and free audio and video will be available for this weekend's matches at Darren Preston, Michael Sondheimer and Connor Reeves will call all the action. Links can be found on the women's volleyball schedule page.

In a matchup that could decide the first-ever Pac-12 volleyball championship, #2 UCLA entertains #1 USC on Friday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. at the John Wooden Center. Remaining seating is limited, and to assure your spot for one of the biggest UCLA-USC women's volleyball matches ever, you can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster. The NCAA Selection Show will air on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.

Following their loss at Oregon, the Bruins dropped one spot to second in this week's AVCA Top 25 Coaches poll, receiving 1,347 points (131 less than last week). UCLA still earned four first-place votes. The Bruins also dropped to second in this week's Volleyball Magazine rankings, receiving 181 points (18 less than last week) and two first-place votes. In the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll, the Bruins were fifth with 90 points.

Junior Rachael Kidder is first among all Pac-12 players in conference matches only with 4.69 kills per set and is also third with 5.17 points per set. As a team in Pac-12 matches, the Bruins are second in hitting percentage (.272), opponent's hitting percentage (.164), assists per set (13.76) and kills per set (14.74), and fourth in digs per set (16.09). Overall, UCLA is in the top half of the Pac-12 standings in six categories, ranking second in opponent's hitting percentage (.151), third in hitting percentage (.251), assists per set (13.32), kills per set (14.23) and digs per set (15.95), and fifth in blocks per set (2.43). Kidder is third in kills per set (4.51) and fourth in points per set (5.04), junior Bojana Todorovic is second in service aces per set (0.38) and senior Lainey Gera is fourth in digs per set (4.84). The full team and individual rankings can be found on page four of this release.

Junior Rachael Kidder is ranked in the Top 20 nationally in two statistical categories, coming in at 15th in kills per set (4.51) and 17th in points per set (5.04). Senior Lauren Van Orden is 40th in assists per set at 10.90. As a team, the Bruins are in the Top 35 in three categories. They are 14th in assists per set (13.32), 20th in kills per set (14.23) and 34th in hitting percentage (.251).

The Bruins have produced their 13th-straight, 20-win season ... UCLA is 9-0 at home this season. The last time the Bruins went undefeated at home was 1999 when they went 11-0. That was also the last year UCLA won a conference title ... UCLA is 12-0 when hitting .270 or better ... defensively, the Bruins are 21-0 when holding their opponent under a .200 hitting percentage ... UCLA swept all four matches with the Bay Area teams for the first time since 2000 and won a three-set contest at Stanford for the first time in 11 years.

The Wildcats closed out a four-match homestand with a sweep of Utah and a five-set win against Colorado last weekend. Arizona is 1-10 against ranked teams this season, with the only victory coming against UCLA on Oct. 8. As a team, the Wildcats are hitting .227 and are averaging 13.53 kills, 1.17 aces, 15.03 digs and 2.05 blocks per set. Freshman Madison Kingdon (3.42) and senior Courtney Karst (3.10) are both averaging over 3.00 kills per set, while senior Cursty Jackson is third with 2.94 kps and first with 0.97 blocks per set. Karst is also second with 18 aces, while Kingdon is third with 2.24 digs per set. Freshman Chloe Mathis handles the setting duties and is posting 9.80 assists per set. Sophomore Candace Nicholson leads the squad with 4.07 dps and 19 aces. David Rubio is in his 20th year at Arizona and has a 377-222 record and a 499-288 mark in 24-plus seasons of coaching.

Arizona snapped a six-match losing streak to UCLA on Oct. 8 in Tucson, coming back from 2-1 down to win 25-22, 10-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-12. Rachael Kidder (26 kills, 14 digs) and Lauren Van Orden (49 assists, 11 digs) each had double-doubles, Lainey Gera (25) and Bojana Todorovic (10) added double figures in digs and Tabi Love posted 12 kills. Despite the loss, the Bruins still lead the all-time series 51-18 and are 25-7 at home against the Wildcats. UCLA has won the last five in Westwood against Arizona, including a four-set win last Nov. 13. The Wildcats' last win in Los Angeles was a four-set triumph on Oct. 21, 2005.

The Sun Devils, which play at USC on Friday, have won three in a row, beating Oregon State in three on Nov. 5, Colorado in four last Friday and Utah in five last Saturday, all at home. Arizona State is 0-11 against ranked teams this season. The Sun Devils are hitting .176 as a team, averaging 12.67 kills, 0.98 aces, 15.31 digs and 2.08 blocks per set. Four players are averaging at least 2.00 kills per set, led by sophomore Ashley Kastl's 3.93 kps. Sophomore Danica Mendivil is second at 2.58 kps, followed by freshman Nora Tuioti-Mariner (2.45) and junior Erica Wilson (2.38). Freshman Shannan McCready has been the main setter during the last few weekends, averaging 10.84 assists per set. Sophomore Stephanie Preach is first on the squad with 5.21 digs per set and 22 aces, while senior Sonja Markanovich (1.13) and sophomore Alexis Pinson (1.02) are each averaging over a block per set. Jason Watson is in his fourth year at Arizona State and has a record of 47-72 in Tempe and 121-90 in six-plus seasons of coaching.

UCLA swept Arizona State in Tempe on Oct. 7, winning 25-15, 25-21, 25-17. Rachael Kidder and Bojana Todorovic each had 14 kills, with Todorovic committing no hitting errors in 25 attempts for a .560 hitting percentage to go with nine digs and three blocks. Lainey Gera (20) and Meg Norton (10) were each in double figures in digs. The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Sun Devils 63-8 and have won 15 in a row in Westwood (33 of 34 overall). UCLA swept ASU at home last Nov. 12. The Sun Devils' only win in Los Angeles was a five-set triumph on Oct. 14, 1995.

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